I was fortunate enough to see Bruce’s Born to Run tour in 1975 at the Music Hall in Boston. It was one of the best live shows I have ever seen. Period.
Here’s a story on the famed Odeon show as well as some rare Bruce items from one of my favorite top ten albums of all time.
It is a full-length recording of their performance on November 18, 1975 at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, during the Born to Run tour. It was first released as a DVD on November 14, 2005 as part of the Born to Run 30th Anniversary Edition package, and then several months later on February 28, 2006 released as an audio CD.
The large amount of publicity accompanying these appearances, especially the one in London, famously caused Springsteen to react badly and furiously run about pulling down promotional posters proclaiming “Finally London is ready for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.”
*The poster for the second show they added on the 24th of November.
This performance marked the European concert debut of Springsteen and the E Street Band, kicking off a four-date mini tour which also featured shows in Stockholm, Sweden and Amsterdam, Holland, as well as a second concert at the Hammersmith Odeon on November 24 that was added due to the huge ticket demand for the first London gig.
In the liner notes, Springsteen himself writes that after the show had been recorded, “I’d paid no attention to it. I never looked at it … for 30 years.” After the Rising tour, he had an inkling to dig into film of the early part of his career, the vast majority of which remained “a blank spot,” with little or nothing ever released.
He found the film and the 24-track audio recordings. The two-and-a-half-hour concert film was spliced together from 32 reels of silent 16-mm footage, digitally restored frame by frame in a painstaking process that took editor Thom Zimny a full year to complete.
Bob Clearmountain, a veteran of several Springsteen projects, mixed the audio for the CD and film.
The album debuted on the Billboard 200 album chart on March 18, 2006 at #93 with sales of approximately 12,000 copies sold. It spent two weeks on the chart. Hammersmith Odeon ’75, with the exception of some songs on the Live/1975-85 box set, stands so far as the only full-length, official release that gives a snapshot of Springsteen and the E-Street Band in concert at this early point in their musical career.
The rare “Clouds” poster in which Jon Landau a writer at the time for The Real Paper in Boston, makes that now infamous claim that Bruce is the future of Rock And Roll.